Why was Hitler invited to become Chancellor?

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Why was Hitler invited to become Chancellor?

In 1932 the weaknesses of the Weimar Constitution were clear to all. Due to its careful balance of power and proportional representation, no political leader was strong enough to rule. During this period Germany was effectively being run by 84 year old President Hindenburg. Policy was being set by a tiny group of rich, conservative industrialists and army leaders. The Reichstag offered very little leadership.

The heart of the problem was that the Nazis were the largest party. Normally the leader of such a party would become Chancellor, but the other parties in the Reichstag would not work with Hitler. The constitution gave President Hindenburg the right to appoint Chancellor and he did not want Hitler as Chancellor.

So month after month there were arguments and back-room deals as different politicians struggled to assemble a workable government. The weakness of the Reichstag would have been a problem even if things had been going well in Germany. But when faced with the chronic problems of the Depression it was disastrous.

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In the July elections of 1932 the Nazis got their best ever result with 37.3% of the vote (230 seats.) They were now by far the largest party. Hitler demanded to be appointed Chancellor. Hindenburg despised Hitler, but he could see the value of trying to use the Nazis for his own ends. Hindenburg appointed Franz von Papen as his Chancellor. Von Papen had no support in the Reichstag but he hoped he could create a right-wing coalition government with the support of the Nazis and the other right-wing parties in the Reichstag. Hitler refused to co-operate, so Hindenburg called ...

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